The Spaniard was the finest talent according to Benitez.
Napoli manager Rafael Benitez says Chelsea sold their best player in the January transfer window when Juan Mata departed for Manchester United for £37.1m.
Benitez was in charge of the Blues for most of last season after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked in November 2012 and Mata played a vital role under the Spaniard.
The attacking midfielder was named the club’s Player of the Year for the second season running at the end of that campaign and was also nominated for the PFA Player of the Year.
However, when Jose Mourinho took charge of his second spell at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2013, the 51-year-old made it clear that Oscar was the preferred No.10 and Mata started just 14 matches in 2013/14 before being sold to the Premier League champions.
Benitez though thinks the west London club willingly parted with their best player when sanctioning the United deal.
“Juan was their best player in the last two years. That is it. You can see that,” the former Liverpool boss was quoted by Goal.
Benitez gets another chance to visit Britain this week when his Napoli team travel from Italy to play Swansea City in the Europa League.
The Serie A side were eliminated from the Champions League group stage despite finishing on the same points as Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund – by had a worse head-to-head record.
It means that Benitez’s side will be among the favourites to win Europe’s second tier tournament, especially as the Swans have recently sacked manager Michael Laudrup and are struggling in the league.
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